Suspect in Cleveland bank robbery writes demand note on document with his name, address

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CLEVELAND-- A Cleveland bank robber is providing a new chapter in the book World's Dumbest Criminals.

It was just after 11 a.m. on Monday that a man walked up to the counter at the U.S. Bank branch at 7993 Euclid Ave. on the city’s east side and passed a note, demanding money.

"When the teller took the note, and looked at it and looked at the other side, she saw his name. He had used a note that he had used earlier at the BMV and it had his name on it,” said Special Agent Vicki Anderson, of the Cleveland Office of the FBI.

Authorities say as 54-year-old Michael Harrell was robbing the bank, he actually wrote the hold-up note on the back of a document from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, complete with his name and address. Investigators said the teller was stunned.

"She actually even referred to him as Michael,” Anderson said. “Gave him the money and called him Michael and then notified law enforcement."

Once authorities confirmed that Harrell was the same man caught on surveillance cameras robbing the bank, a warrant was quickly issued for his arrest.

The FBI said this is not the first time that a bank robber has left an incriminating piece of evidence at the scene, but in each case, it makes the job of finding the suspect a lot easier.

“We've had individuals drop things on the way out the door, that they didn't intend to, obviously. We've had individuals drop cell phones that have all their identifying information in it,” Anderson said. "A lot of times, we're sending out pictures, we have no idea who this person could be or what part of town they could be from. And when you present a note that has your name already on it and address, it helps law enforcement tremendously."

Investigators said the smart move now for Harrell would be to turn himself in.

Anyone with information on Harrell’s whereabouts should call the Cleveland Division of Police, the FBI or Cuyahoga County Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463. Calls can remain anonymous and reward money is available.

More stories on area bank robberies here

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